Gaming grants enhance arts, culture, sports for people in B.C.

October 27, 2021 at 9:25 am  BC, News, Politics

Community gaming grants are supporting people to be more active and creative as local organizations receive funding for sports, arts and cultural programming.

“Activities that engage people of all ages to play sports, enjoy arts programs and celebrate cultural festivities are at the heart of B.C.’s thriving and resilient communities,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Community Gaming Grants continue to provide critical funding for these community-based programs that support British Columbians and help them make strong community connections.”

The Province is supporting more than 650 not-for-profit arts organizations with approximately $18.2 million in Community Gaming Grants to provide a range of programs and services to support people as B.C. moves toward economic recovery. People can participate in diverse arts and cultural experiences, from performing arts, music and media arts programs, to Indigenous and cultural events.

Following are examples of how Community Gaming Grants funding for arts and culture organizations make a difference:

  • Children and families in Prince George will continue to enjoy arts and community programming, art exhibitions and festivals through the Prince George Regional Art Gallery Association;
  • The Symphony of the Kootenays Association will bring concerts to people in the East and West Kootenay regions; and
  • The Raven Spirit Dance Society in Vancouver will offer traditional and contemporary programs for artists and community members through the Indigenous Ground Training program.

The Community Gaming Grants program is also providing more than $24.9 million for more than 700 not-for-profit sport organizations. These groups organize a variety of activities for people, such as swimming, lacrosse, soccer, hockey and Special Olympics.

Here are a few examples of how Community Gaming Grants for community sport organizations will encourage participation in sport and active lifestyles:

  • Young people from five to 19 will continue to take part in programs through the Sooke Minor Fastball Club;
  • People in Dawson Creek will be able to sign up for more sports programs, including bowling, curling, alpine skiing and snowshoeing through the Special Olympics British Columbia Society; and
  • British Columbia Speed Skating Association will offer speedskating programs for people around the province, as well as training for coaches and officials.

The Community Gaming Grants program has put British Columbian’s health and safety first by requiring that all grant funding complies with the provincial health officer’s orders, while continuing to provide flexibility for those organizations whose programs and services have been affected by the pandemic. In total, more than $43 million is going to support local organizations through these Community Gaming Grants.

Quotes:

Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport  –

We know that arts, culture and sport are critical to our collective mental health and they make our communities stronger and more vibrant. These grants are game changers. Our government believes in providing people access to art, cultural and sporting activities because it strengthens our sense of belonging and diversity across B.C.”

Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits –

“Despite facing numerous challenges throughout the pandemic, non-profits haven’t stopped meeting essential needs, creating vibrant spaces, strengthening communities and so much more. This funding will give our non-profit sector much-needed support to continue the vital work of building a stronger British Columbia.”

Kari Rae, president, BC Speed Skating Association –

“BC Speed Skating is grateful for the financial support that the Community Gaming Grant program provides as it has allowed us to continue to provide safe and inclusive programming at a reasonable cost to our participants during these difficult times. Our skaters come together in sport and stay together, through good times and challenges, as a community.”

 Quick Facts:

  • Every year, commercial gaming revenue funds essential government programs and services including health care, education, justice and social services.
  • Up to $140 million of gaming revenue benefits communities through the 5,000 organizations that the Community Gaming Grants program supports.
  • Community Gaming Grants provide funding to arts and culture groups, sports, environment, public safety, human and social services, as well as parent advisory councils in B.C. schools.
  • There has been no change to annual funding for Community Gaming Grants.

Learn More:

View the full list of arts and culture sector recipients: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/ArtsCultureGrants.pdf

View the full list of sport sector recipients: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/SportGrants.pdf

For more information on how Community Gaming Grants is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/sports-culture/gambling-fundraising/gaming-grants/cggupdates

Stronger BC: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/

B.C.’s COVID Action Plan and other government resources and updates: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19

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